Until the replicators from Star Trek get invented, the Keurig is the best way to get a cup of coffee (or “tea, Earl Grey, hot”) in less than a minute.
However, it is far from flawless.
If your coffee tastes watery, the problem is, duh, too much water in it.
A Keurig coffee maker, however, is programmed to have a specific amount of coffee to water ratio in every cup.
So what happens when your coffee is less than perfect?
Let’s do a little troubleshooting and see what has to be done to get your Keurig back to making the perfect cup of coffee for you.
Could It Be Clogged?
This is a problem on some older machines.
You could be getting the right amount of water in your cup, but not enough of the actual coffee.
A clog means not enough of the coffee gets into the cup.
You may need to do a little internal cleaning on your machine to unclog it.
You can pick it out with a paper clip or blow it out with a straw.
Chalk Build Up
This is a problem if the water you use is less than ideal.
It goes without saying, only pure, clean water should go in your Keurig.
If the water in your area is less than ideal, consider using filtered water.
Again, the machine will need some internal cleaning to get rid of the build up.
To get rid of this, it is recommended that you run some vinegar through the machine.
Give it a good rinse before you use it again if you don’t like your coffee to taste like vinegar.
Keurig recommends their own cleaning solutions. (Because of course they would.)
ALSO READ: How To Clean Your Keurig Without Vinegar
Are you using dirty needles?
On the Keurig, I mean.
Your Keurig machine has two needles that pierce the K-Pod.
If the upper needle is dirty and clogged, hot water will go around the K-Pod instead of through it like it’s supposed to.
You may have to remove the needle (Be very careful as it is very sharp) and remove the clog with a paper clip, sewing needle or toothpick.
Try taking the cup out a little early.
The last bit to pour out of the Keurig machine is more hot water than actual coffee.
The coffee itself is already brewed. If you like your coffee extra strong, take your cup out before the last of the hot water pours into it.
Be careful not to burn yourself.
The overflow reservoir will ensure that no mess is made.
This too must be emptied out once in a while.
Try a stronger blend.
If you like strong coffee but want more of it in your cup, try a darker roast such as Workhorse Dark and Bold.
Green Mountain Double Black Diamond is also a popular blend for people who like their coffee good and strong.
If you feel a little adventurous, try Death Wish coffee which has four times the caffeine as is typical for a Keurig K-Pod.
Wake The Hell Up is only fifty percent more caffeine than typical, but it will live up to its name.
It is also made in small batches so it tends to be fresher and less watery.
There are three buttons on top of your Keurig ringed by a glowing blue light.
Left to right, these make a six, eight or ten ounce cup. (There are some models that can make a four ounce or a twelve ounce cup. The placement is similar.)
The six ounce cup will be fairly strong, if small.
The ten ounce setting will give you a lot of coffee, but it will be on the weak side.
The eight ounce setting will give you eight ounces of moderately strong coffee.
It’s a balancing act here of quality versus quantity.
Has the coffee gone stale?
Stale coffee tastes a little weak and watery.
Remember that buying coffee in bulk is only cost-effective if a lot of coffee is drunk every day.
Only buy enough K-Pods that your household needs.
Check that “Best if used by” date as well.
If you like a freshly brewed cup of strong coffee, Keurig does sell reusable pods for this purpose.
You can grind your own beans and put them in the pod to be used on your Keurig machine.
Also keep in mind if the pod itself is damaged, that means air could get into it and make the coffee go stale more quickly.
Check to see if a pod is undamaged before you use it.
Is the water hot enough?
Keurig gets water pretty hot. It gets up to 89 °C (192° F).
This is hot enough to make a moderately strong coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
However, many coffee aficionados agree that the water to make coffee must not be simply hot but boiling.
You can start your Keurig going with already hot water to get it up to the optimal heat for a strong coffee.
You may have to wait awhile before it cools down to a temperature that’s safe to drink.
Some people like their coffee extra strong.
Almost no one likes watery coffee.
Coffee brews best with very hot, clean (but not distilled) water and fresh beans.
If this is not the problem and you are sure it’s a problem with the machine, it’s probably just a clogging issue that can be easily cleared up using household items.
If you still feel like your coffee isn’t strong enough, you can easily forgo the last few drops of hot water that come forth in the brewing process or take your pick of one of the stronger blends Keurig has to offer.